I was raised in the Midwest, where I met my husband, Curt. We have been married nearly twenty-five years and have three adult children. As a lifelong learner, I have earned three college degrees with honors, including a master’s degree. I have also received training in various inner healing ministries. I worked over fifteen years in the business world and four years teaching. Ironically, later in my life, God used my broad education and work experience to help others in a way I could have never imagined.
In terms of spiritual background, I was raised Roman Catholic. It was not until the 2000s, when my family relocated to Colorado, that I reaffirmed my faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. I came to know the Holy Spirit as a person, protector, comforter, and guide. I acknowledge all believers are gifted and called to be led by the Spirit; are co-laborers with Jesus; and are assigned to use their individual gifts and talents to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in special, tailor-made assignments, roles, and places (see I Corinthians 3:9; I Corinthians 12:4–11; II Corinthians 6:1; Romans 12:3-8; and I Peter 4:10–11). I agree that believers have a universal purpose and mandate to speak truth and bring reconciliation to our generation (see II Corinthians 5:19), to be in-Christ overcomers and prepare the way for the coming Messiah Jesus to put His enemies under His feet, and to ultimately conform to the image of Jesus. In summary, I believe it is God’s desire that we strive for personal purity and observe our own individual design and gifts to be a vessel of honor for Him to use (see II Timothy 2:20–21).
My primary gift has always been the gift of mercy. Some people may think of mercy as a lesser gift and many stereotype merciful people as weak. But, scripture clearly shows this is not the case. Mercy is a gift that takes great strength and courage to act upon. To be merciful, people must lay down their own self-interests and motivations and be there for people in troubled, unpleasant times. The gospels clearly document that Jesus was stirred to mercy and compassion whenever He saw people afflicted by disease, injustice, grief, hunger, or loneliness. In response to mercy, Jesus raised the dead. An excellent illustration of this is in Luke 7 where, moved by mercy and compassion for a widow, Jesus resurrects her son right out of his coffin in a burial procession. Ever since I was a child, I recognized others’ pain and suffering and then acted upon that discernment by offering assistance, writing a note of encouragement or sometimes sending small gifts. Serving others in pain was something that just flowed in me, and I never thought of it as a burden. It is part of who I am.
Then in the spring of 2017 I was unexpectedly thrown into turmoil after the senseless mass murder that took the lives of my sister, her husband, and her daughter. Navigating the aftermath of this event involved planning funerals, hiring attorneys, helping to manage three estate probates, working with civil attorneys, attending criminal proceedings, giving a public victim impact statement, coping with post-sentencing, and dealing with grief and trauma.
In this dark time in my life I met many people hurting because of similar evil acts. The gift of mercy began to activate in me like a spark of light in a new and powerful way. A lifetime supporting others through difficulties as well as all my work experience and education prepared me to birth this new ministry. The murders took me to my knees in front of God daily for months praying for help. Once I finally found myself in a place of total surrender to God, I was left neither empty nor spiritually unarmed. What I experienced was quite the opposite. I trusted in God’s promises and virtuous character to help me mend, and stopped depending solely on my own determination. This made more room for the Holy Spirit to operate in me. I began to be filled with His goodness, and my healing process accelerated as His light began to burn brightly in my life.
Today my relationship with God is stronger than ever. Instead of focusing on my losses, now I focus on being in His presence and obeying His promptings in my life. I will always miss my sister and her family, and I look forward to the time when we will be in Heaven together. For now, I am honored by the opportunity to serve homicide survivors as they work toward healing and move forward in their tailor-made roles and assignments collaborating with Jesus.
Love & grace,